When the police kept us for one and a half hours for carrying an apple

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If you think this is just a tricky title, you are wrong. This really happened to me and Luísa.

First I´d like to say that I´ve been wanting to travel with Luísa for an extended period of time, but I´m still not sure where to go… I want to write on this blog about traveling, so I´ll have to tell you about some of our past trips.

When Luísa was two and a half years old, we went to spend a month in Chile. I´ve been to Chile many times and I know how the customs there work. Dogs sniff all the luggage and some passengers as well. Luísa wanted to pet the German Sheperd, but I wisely didn´t let her.

I know that you are not supposed to bring in the country any kind of food, plant or agricultural product. I actually smuggled in cheese bread once, the police officer made me open my luggage to check on this maybe dangerous product. Well, back that time, the officer let us pass by with just an ugly face.

This time it was different. We were arriving at 11:45 pm in Santiago and I had some coconut oil with me and I declared it as soon as I walked off of that airplane. I told an officer about my bottle of coconut oil and he said that I didn´t need to do any papers for that.

But hey, once my backpack went through that X-ray machine: danger was in sight! An apple had been forgotten! The police officer stopped us right there and showed me this huge sign of products you can´t bring in (with a picture of an apple among other examples).

So we were taken to this room and another officer explained that they would have to give me a fine of US$200! No way to back out. I tried to explain that mothers always carry a snack for their kids and that I had forgotten the fruit there two days earlier.

He took the apple and put it in a sort of evidence plastic bag and called someone to pick it up. Then he told this someone to destroy it.

We were held by the Chilean beaurocracy for one and a half hours, with me making sure that Luísa didn´t mess up the officer´s table or the office during this time. After paying and signing a document explaining the whole incident, we were let free without a single bite on the forbidden fruit.

Photo Credit

This article was originally posted on Tripping Mom by Marilia Di Cesare on September 6, 2010. Republished with authorization. Click here for all other posts.

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